- DISABILITY CLAIM FAQ
A Minnesota judge just ruled that CIGNA’s evaluation of a long term disability (“LTD”) claim was “biased.” In McNally v. CIGNA, 2009 WL 1458275 (D. Minn. May 26, 2009), CIGNA terminated the LTD benefits of a claimant with Multiple Sclerosis (“MS”), a progressive neurological disorder. The court found that CIGNA’s handling of the claim was so defective that it could only have resulted from “either bias or incompetence,” and concluded the former was the reason.
The court highlighted that CIGNA improperly relied on the opinion of Dr. John Mendez, its in-house internal/occupational medicine physician, because he “obviously lacks the necessary familiarity or training with the nature of fatigue and multiple sclerosis”. The court ruled that CIGNA “had little reason to disregard the opinions of McNally’s treating neurologist in favor of Mendez’ opinion.”
Besides reliance on the Mendez opinion, the court held that CIGNA’s “bias is apparent from other evidence as well.” However, I want to point out that CIGNA knew its reliance on Mendez was improper because it was chastised for doing the same in Alfano v. CIGNA, 2009 WL 222351 (S.D.N.Y. Jan 30, 2009).
In Alfano, I represented the claimant, who primarily suffered from a back problem. For more information about Alfano see my prior blogs or the decision which is available on my web site. In Alfano, CIGNA also rejected the opinions of the treating specialists in favor of Mendez. Mendez’ entire analysis of Mr. Alfano’s claim, which consisted of hundreds of pages of medical records, was only two sentences.
If your LTD claim has been denied by CIGNA, make sure that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Once you have exhausted your appeals with CIGNA it may be too late to allow a court to review additional evidence that reveals CIGNA’s bias.Previous Next
DISCLAIMER This website provides general information on disability law topics as a public service. Information is intended to be as accurate and current as possible, but should not be relied on as legal advice. No attorney/client relationship is created by viewing or using the content on this website. Each legal problem is different, and past performance does not guarantee future results. You should not act on any of the information contained in this site without first consulting legal counsel, which is why readers are advised to seek experienced legal representation in connection with disability related issues. Our Internet links are not associated with us, and we do not guarantee the accuracy of, any information contained in any link.
Copyright © 2020, Law Offices of Jeffrey Delott
Site Powered By: WebDesignYou